Saturday Night Pizza Night: Featuring Homemade Breadsticks

Not only did I make some melt in your mouth, buttery garlic-y softy and chewy bread sticks over this part weekend, but like the title of this posts suggests, I also made pizza. Really tasty pizza. Two kinds of pizza actually. The first was a pepperoni and cheese pizza with real bacon and mozzarella stuffed crust.  Did you just have a foodgasm? I know I did.  The second was a barbecue chicken and cheese pizza with spinach and red onion slices. Equally as foodgasmic, but a little on the healthier side so that you’re not popping out of your skinny jeans the next day.

Lets start with the skinny pizza first…

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For both these pizzas, I used the Quick and Easy Pizza Dough recipe that you can find here.  But here’s a quick reminder:

Thirty Minute Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 packet (or 2 1/4 tsp) of quick rise yeast
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tbsp  sugar (I use 1 packet of Splenda)
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour in hot water and oil and mix with spoon or hands until you form a large bowl.  I found the crust to be very dry at this point, so I plopped it on a clean, dry surface, added a teaspoon of water, and kneaded until the dough formed a large ball free of excess flour or flakes.

Place the dough on a piece of wax paper.  Spray a piece of plastic wrap and cover the ball, sprayed side down, for about 20 minutes. While your dough is rising.  Preheat the oven to 450 F degrees.

That’s basically the tough part in making this homemade pizza.  Once your dough is ready simply place the dough ball on a clean, dry and lightly floured surface and roll out until you reach the desired size.  Essentially what i do here is roll it out until i get a crust that’s about 12 inches, and then place on a 9 inch pizza pan.  I usually trim off most of the excess for a thinner crust, or i keep all the excess and roll it to make a very thick crust.  You will need to keep the excess if you are planning on stuffing your crust.

Barbecue Chicken and Cheese Pizza with Spinach and Red Onion

makes one 9 inch pizza

Ingredients

  • One Thirty Minute Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe (above).
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I use Diana’s Chicken and Rib Sauce)
  • 1 – 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup red onion slices
  • mozzarella cheese, shredded (i think I use between 1/2 cup to a cup depending on my mood, you can use more or less depending on your tastes)

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 45o F degrees.  Roll out your pizza dough and press into a 9 inch pizza pan lightly sprayed with non-stick spray.   Create desired crust size and trim off excess, as needed.
  2. Cover the bottom section of the pizza with the barbecue sauce.
  3. Layer spinach, red onion slices and cheese.
  4.  Place in over for 17 to 20 minutes, or until the outside crust is golden brown.

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The last step, is of course, to eat it! I always recommend letting you pizza stand for 3 to 5 minutes at room temperature so that it can cool.  The reasoning behind this is (a) it’s too damn hot to eat and will burn the crap out of the roof of your mouth… not like I’m speaking from experience or anything; and (b) if you cut it while the pizza is still super hot, it will likely pull the cheese a little, and no one wants gobs of cheese being pulled off their pizza slices.

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Now on to the more….  calorie dense {fatty} pizza.

So this pizza has LOTs of cheese, 8 slices of chopped REAL bacon, a layer of pepperoni and pizza sauce, and full out mozzarella stuffed crust.

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The stuffed crust part is the only tricky part to this recipe.  But it’s not really that tricky, so you’ll be fine. When you roll out your pizza crust, simply roll it out to 12 inches and press in your pan.  Add a layer of mozzarella around the edge of the pizza crust, inside the pizza pan.  Then, simply roll your crust over the cheese.  Put as much or as little as you would like. Obviously, the more the better.

Pepperoni and Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza with Bacon

makes one 9 inch pizza

Ingredients

  • One Thirty Minute Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe (above).
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • pepperoni slices, enough to cover the bottom of the pizza
  • 8 slices of cooked bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded, plus more for stuffed crust

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 45o F degrees.  Roll out your pizza dough to about 12 inches and press into a 9 inch pizza pan lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Add mozzarella cheese to the edge of the pizza crust, inside the pizza pan, and roll excess crust over the cheese.
  2. Cover the bottom section of the pizza with the pizza sauce.
  3. Layer pepperoni, bacon pieces and remaining cheese.
  4.  Place in over for 17 to 20 minutes, or until the outside crust is golden brown.

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Again, it’s best if you let this stand for at least 5 minutes.  There’s alot of cheese on this so you want to let it cool before you start slicing.  This was a hit with my boyfriend and his buddy, who often complain that I hide vegetables in their food. 
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Lastly, I made some wonderful homemade garlic bread sticks.  You can find full details on them here from simplyscratch.com, but here’s a brief overview.

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Homemade Garlic Breadsticks

makes 18 breadsticks

For the Breadsticks

  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 1/2 cups Warm Water (between 110 – 120 degrees F)
  • 1 packet Active Dry Yeast {2-1/4 teaspoons)
  • 4 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

For the Breadstick Topping

  • 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine the honey, warm water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Let stand for about 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer.  Add in the melted butter and then mix the ingredients together on low in your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.  Continue to mix until the dough forms a large ball.
  4. Roll the dough into a rectangle and cut evenly into 18 pieces. Roll each into a breadstick form and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm place for 1 hour so your breadsticks can rise.
  5. Melt six tablespoons of unsalted butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Add in the teaspoon of salt and garlic powder. Stir and brush over the risen bread sticks.
  6. Place breadsticks in a preheated 400 F degree oven and bake for about 6 minutes. Remove and brush with more of the butter/garlic mixture and return them back to the oven for 6-8 more minutes.

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I actually cooked mine for a little longer.  I like my sticks nice a soft, just like the ones from toppers pizza, but my oven isn’t the greatest, so I left mine in for about 10 minutes after the second brush with the garlic butter and the sticks from simplyscratch.com still turned out a little darker than mine.  Anyways, these are probably the best breadsticks I’ve ever eaten.  They were soft, buttery and way less greasy than the ones we usually order from a pizza joint.  And honestly, aside from the hour rise time, they were relatively simple to make, and I LOVE simple. Don’t forget to check out my link above to simplyscratch.com so you can see full details, picture by picture, on how to create these fantastical breadsticks of awesome. Happy Baking!!!

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